the nines

Dressed to the nines on her 9th Birthday

The nines.  This expression, meaning "very fashionably and elaborately dressed", is recorded from the 18th  century. "The nine" or "the nines" were used to signify "superlative" in numerous other contexts. Theories include: 9, being the highest single-digit number, symbolized the best; a metanalysis of Old English to then eyne "to the eyes"; and a reference to the 9 muses. 
And so, my not-so-baby baby girl is turning 9.  


This hurts my heart.  A deepening of the ache I feel every time I sense her inching towards independence.  Over the holidays, her Aunt Lucy pointed out that Chloe's "time at home was halfway over", a not-so gentle reminder that 9 was halfway to eighteen.  She may as well have taken out the carving knife and stabbed me in the heart... 

And so it is, I could lament, over the growth.  The time lost.  The time that is moving at a pace that is far too fast and fleeting.  Isn't that the commonality with all of us, this wanting to keep our littles little and time stand still. 

Instead, as I browsed through the thousands of photographs taken over the course of the last nine years, while there were some moments that were bitter sweet, my heart was filled with such overwhelming gratitude.  I came across this photo, one of my favorites, and was reminded that this was how we spent much of every single day of her life for the first three years. 
What a privelege and a precious gift that I had in being there to see her first gummy grin, to hear her first belly laugh, her first word, watch her taking her first steps. 

I am so thankful for the beautiful gift of a precious daughter.  And I am thankful for every single moment I have had with her.  I am thankful that I had the opportunity to be at home full time with her for the first three years of her life.

Being a working mom is hard, undoubtedly.  There are many days that I feel the weight of the time lost that can't be regained.  Some days, I experience a wave of sadness that I'm not at  the bus stop waiting for them in the afternoons.  It would be easy to lose myself in the gravity of that loss, but as it is with all loss - I have learned - and am still learning each day - to be thankful for the time that I have.

I am learning that regret and gratefulness cannot reside within the same heart. 

I've followed several stories of tragedy involving the loss of a child in recent months.  They weigh heavily on my heart, reminding me that each day - and each moment - is a gift.  They remind all of us to be thankful for that which we have instead of grieving for that which we have not.

"Rejoice always;  pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus..."
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

Chloe's Favorites: 

1. What is your favorite color? Pink and Blue
2. What is your favorite toy? Barbies
3. What is your favorite fruit? Cuties
4. What is your favorite tv show? Adventure Time & Regular Show
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Grilled cheese
6. What is your favorite outfit? Princess Dresses
7. What is your favorite game? Wipe Out 3 on DS
8. What is your favorite snack? Gushers and Wheat Thins with Cream Cheese
9. What is your favorite animal? Puppies and Kittens
10. What is your favorite song? Too Close
11. What is your favorite book? Top Ten of Everything
12. Who is your best friend? Bailey, Ella & Payton
13. What is your favorite cereal? Cinnamon Toast Crunch
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play Survivor
15. What is your favorite drink? Crystal Light Fruit Punch & Diet Coke
16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Giraffo
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Daddy's pancakes shaped like letters
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Golden Corral (because they have a chocolate fountain)
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A veterinarian


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